Fallacies in Advertisements
Alogical fallacy is defined as an argument that contains a mistake inreasoning. There are two main types of logical fallacies namelyfallacies of insufficient evidence and fallacies of relevance.Fallacies of insufficient evidence are the fallacies that aredeveloped when ideas do not offer enough evidence to support aconclusion. Fallacies of relevance are ideas or premises are notlogically relevant to the conclusion. The advertisement industry ismarred by both types of fallacies. However, the fallacies have onething in common and that is, they are amphiboly nature. Amphibolyfallacies are the fallacies that appeal to emotion, authority, andthe non-sequitur. Amphiboly by definition refers to an idea orfallacy with a syntactical ambiguity that deliberately disregards anykind of implications (Almossawi& Giraldo,2014).This paper will use two examples to explain two types of fallaciescommon in the advertisement sector.
Thefirst example is of a Sonicare Elite commercial found on the websitewww.optiva.com. The speaker in the commercial says that Sonicareelectric toothbrush is used by most US dental professionals. Throughthis statement, the public is led to believe that Sonicare is aproduct that is endorsed and used by most dentists. However, the factis that the statistic is bias as the majority of the dentistssurveyed by Optiva use Sonicre. This is an example of a logicalfallacy on appeal to ignorance and or appeal to popularity(Marietta-Brown2012).
Thesecond example is whereby an appeal to authority is used throughciting of an authority. An example is an advertisement by Colgatewhereby a dentist supports and endorses one of the Colgate products.This dentist could be a worker of the company. This is could lead tobias or diversion (red herring) mainly because as the authorityfigure, the dentist would have used his profession to influence thepublic’s opinion (Bardakçi&Çakir 2014).
Logicalfallacies of amphiboly are the most common in advertisement as theyeffectively pursue people into purchasing the products. People or thepublic in general needs better skills to be able to decipher thehidden details in advertisements.
Almossawi,A., & Giraldo, A. F. (2014). Anillustrated book of bad arguments.Melbourne: Scribe.
Bardakçi,M., & Çakir, A. (2014). Developing a Critical Eye throughReasoning Fallacies. ElectronicTurkish Studies, 9(2).
Marietta-Brown,A. (2012). As seen on TV: Teaching fallacies throughinfomercials. CommunicationTeacher, 25(3),127-130
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